Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) combines aspects of acceptance and mindfulness approaches with behavior-change strategies, in an effort to help clients develop psychological flexibility. Therapists and counselors who employ ACT seek to help clients identify the ways that their efforts to suppress or control emotional experiences can create barriers. When clients are able to identify these challenges, it can be easier to make positive and lasting changes. Think this approach may work for you? Contact one of TherapyDen’s ACT specialists today to try it out.

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ACT is a humanistic and behavioral approach to mental health concerns and aims to understand various forms of mental health concerns within the context of your lived experience. At times I may draw from this theory to explore how your relationship to your emotions and feelings impacts your sense of self, relationships, and behavior. The goal of this theory is to empower you to gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your emotions, and your behavior and encourages values-based living.

— Vanessa Steffny, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in Bellevue, WA

ACT aims to develop and expand psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility encompasses emotional openness and the ability to adapt your thoughts and behaviors to better align with your values and goals.

— Helen Palmer, Licensed Mental Health Counselor

ACT has two basic principles for therapist and client to follow. One, accept that we have unwelcome thoughts sometimes and that these thoughts are out of our control. Two, commit to a life which is focused on core values defined by you. In other words, "Embrace your imperfections and learn how to trust that you know what's best."

— Michael Ianello, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

In ACT, we are identifying who and what matters most to you and then getting curious about the patterns we see arising (both internal and external) that guide you toward or away from what you define as a meaningful life. This approach utilizes a neuroscience informed understanding of the mind, mindfulness practices, compassionate acceptance building and committed action to make the changes you want to see in your life.

— Leigh Shaw, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Tacoma, WA

I have completed specific training and have experiencing utilizing this treatment modality in therapy.

— Alicia McDonald, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor in Columbus, OH

A true believer in teaching people to acknowledge and notice their emotions and thoughts. Through teaching patients skills that help them focus on the moment. To help patients learn to bring awareness to what they’re experiencing without feeling overwhelmed.

— Eriko Her, Counselor in Overland Park, KS

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy comes from the perspective of accepting yourself for who you are with out shame or judgment. This is particular important for people from marginalized populations. I want to help you live a healthy and emotionally rich life and by accepting yourself and healing old wounds you can begin to grow toward becoming the person you want to be.

— Beck Pazdral, Counselor in Seattle, WA

I have received formal training and supervision in ACT, and have been practicing using ACT throughout my career. Additionally, I have a strong background in mindfulness, both personally and professionally. I have had a personal practice for over a decade, including formal trainings and retreats. I have integrated ACT and mindfulness into individual and group therapy, conducted trainings on ACT, and have also conducted research around the use of mindfulness and compassion in therapy.

— JD Wright, Psychologist in Gainesville, FL

I've had the privilege of working with several supervisors who specialized in ACT, and I have used ACT strategies with several clients.

— Dr. John Monopoli, Clinical Psychologist

ACT was my first love and the modality that spoke to me the most when I first started. What I really like about it is the flexibility it gives me and my clients while, at the same time, being super comprehensive. ACT assumes that to get stuck is the most human thing to do - everyone gets stuck at some point in their lives. Difficult feelings and thoughts are part of the human experience, and how we interact with them is crucial and can mean the difference between suffering and doing well.

— Christian Bumpous, Marriage & Family Therapist in Nashville, TN

Instead of trying to change or avoid difficult thoughts and emotions, ACT encourages you to embrace them fully, like welcoming old friends into your home. As your therapist, I'll gently guide you to acknowledge these feelings without judgment, teaching you to make peace with them rather than letting them control you. Together, we'll explore your deepest values and aspirations, crafting a roadmap for living in alignment with what truly matters to you.

— Dr. Yanet Vanegas, Psychologist in Tampa, FL

My favorite modality of all to integrate, I love helping my clients accept what is while still taking meaningful action in their lives. The truth is, sometimes we will feel anxious or depressed. Getting frustrated when it doesn't go away is only exacerbating our pain. But when we accept that sometimes we will feel discomfort, we can then lean in to still living the life that corresponds with our values.

— Lauren Cook, Clinical Psychologist

ACT is all about powering up and working through discomfort by remembering what's really important to you. So, for instance, if you're uncomfortable finishing what's on your plate, you remember that the real reason you sat down for dinner was to continue your recovery, which is important because your family and friends need you and you want to be healthy so you can still go to Spain next summer. In other words, you ACCEPT the discomfort and COMMIT to your values. Get it?

— Brian Jones, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of therapy that helps people accept the difficulties they are experiencing as a part of life, identify their values, and take action that aligns with these values. The premise of ACT is that struggle is a part of life, and fighting against it gets us nowhere, and can sometimes make things worse. If we accept the struggles we face but decide to move forward in spite of these struggles, we can achieve our goals and live a life with more meaning and purpose. I incorporate compassion-focused practices into my ACT work, helping you acknowledge the ways in which you are being hard on yourself, and how being a little bit kinder might help you move towards a life of valued action and meaning.

— Ashley Hamm, Licensed Professional Counselor in Houston, TX

ACT blends mindful behavior, attention to personal values, and commitment to actionable steps that support your transformation. Rather than try to control or suppress what is hard, I'll invite you to curiously investigate your psychological experience and then take steps to pivot towards valid alternatives rooted in your values. Eventually you'll be better equipped to accept inevitable hardships while committing to necessary changes that help you live the life you want to live.

— Nicole Byrne, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pasadena, CA

This mode of therapy can help you identify your core values, move towards those values as well as increase mindfulness and defuse strong emotions.

— Marie Johnson, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

ACT greatly informs my practice. I have significant experience and training. My most basic practice orientation is ACT based.

— Meg Higgins, Clinical Social Worker in ,

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy helps you focus on the parts of your life you can control. I can support you in getting clear about your values and help you make more intentional choices. You will learn grounding skills to help you cope with stress. We may use metaphors or mindfulness practices to help you understand where you are getting stuck and practice new ways of responding to difficult situations.

— Camille Keith, Licensed Professional Counselor in Hillsboro, OR